Swissman Xtreme Triathlon was a new race for me. And what a race it was! From the palmtrees of Ascona to the steep and snowcovered mountains of Kleine Scheidegg – xtreme all the way.
The race starts in the beautiful Lago Maggiore close to the Italian border. The athletes are shipped out to a tiny Island in the middle of the lake and start their journey. From there it goes to T1 in Ascona and continues trough the valley towards the mountain passes. This is where the xtreme part of the race really begins. No less than three mountains have to be conquerd.
First it is up the stunning «Tremola» towards the Gotthardpass at 2091m. From there it is a short descent before you once again start climbing to reach the highest point of the journey – FurkaPass (2436). FurkaPass was very windy and even some snowfall (in mid-june). I guess a lot of athletes struggled with this climb, but then again snowfall, wind and tired athletes makes the best pictures. The last climb is the GrimselPass. Probably the pass I liked the most on the bikeleg. Lot`s of wind on the top, ice covered waters and snow in the air. An amazing scenery!
The marathon is pretty basic in the beginning. Basic and beautiful. The athletes run under a waterfall they start the final climb. This is where the magic happens.
If you ever been to Switzerland you know the scenery, but let me tell you – it is amazing! The last part from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg is just breathtaking! Up, up, up and surrounding you is probably the most beautiful landscape you have ever seen. When you spot the famous Eiger Nordwand you know you are closing in on the finishline.
Each time an athlete close in on the finishline the crew starts to ring these huge bells. They are super annoying! One athlete even named them «Hells Bells» because they are so loud and irritating that you only could assume that`s what they are. At the same time everyone starts screaming BIMMELIM, BIMMELIM wich I guess means something close to «Welcome OUT of Hell» in Swiss. In reality you`ve reached heaven and Kleine Scheidegg.
I had an amazing day shooting Swissman – lot`s of fun, lot`s of work, new friends and new experiences. Thank you to Sampo and the rest of the Swissman crew for having me! I hope to come back soon!
Below is a gallery of some of my pictures from the day. Enjoy!